Yoga is more than just participating in a bit of exercise and attending classes. It can truly become a way of life.
You can easily integrate yoga into your everyday lifestyle to achieve more equilibrium and precision in your body and mind. This means you’re more likely to live a happier and healthier lifestyle. This is known as the yoga lifestyle.
What is yoga philosophy?
So, what is a yoga lifestyle, you may be asking? This generally involves molding your attitudes, behaviors, and ways of life to match up to the philosophies of yoga. Those who follow the yoga lifestyle are typically known as a ‘yogi’.
All those living a yoga lifestyle have the drive to achieve inner peace. They aim to maintain a healthy body, a focused mind and a sense of calm.
Rest assured, being a yogi doesn’t mean you have to force yourself away from your usual routine or miss out on having fun. It’s just about implementing these life choices into your daily regime with ease.
Take a look at how you can do that.
Eating for the yoga lifestyle
Typically, the yoga lifestyle diet is a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is for the sole reason that animal products aren’t believed to provide all the goodness the body needs for long-term health. Instead, yogis eat more nutrient-rich foods such as the likes of vegetables, wholegrain, nuts, seeds and legumes.
If you want to eat like a true yogi – listen up! Your main aim is to concentrate on foods that have been grown locally, are marginally processed and are in season so you’re getting the best nutritional value.
Yogis have a clear focus on eating well as it can have an impact on how you perform in yoga. After a period of time, you’ll start to feel more energized, calm and focused.
Sleeping for the yoga lifestyle
Although you may not sleep well or think there’s anything wrong with your sleep pattern, adults should be getting a full 8 hours of sleep per evening. This will help you wake up with a clearer mind, as well as feeling energized and ready to take on the day. Many yogis choose to go to bed early and wake up at the crack of dawn to carry out their yoga routine. It helps get them prepared and in the right headspace for the rest of the day.
If you do struggle to sleep, it would be wise to think of ways you can regulate your sleep patterns. Aim to switch off your mobile phone a few hours before your head hits the pillow. The blue light emitted from the screen keeps the brain stimulated, rather than transferring into a restful state.
Run a bath to help calm you after a stressful day, dip into a good book or chat with your family or friends about any worries. Doing so will allow you to sleep much easier. Also, make sure your room is dark enough and at the right temperature to keep you calm and tranquil.
The five Yamas
While the yoga lifestyle is about keeping the body fit, it’s also about keeping your mind healthy.
You should be practicing the five Yamas to help reduce the chances of bad karma or leading a false life. When you practice the five Yamas, you are committing yourself to a much happier and healthier lifestyle. Trying your best to put each of the Yamas into action will make a difference in body and mind.
The practice of non-violence both physically and emotionally towards others. When we get angry, we feel a sense of emotional violence and hatred. This may be judgment, disapproval or irritation. Yogis practice the act of compassion and allows them to let go of situations which may trigger them to think and feel negatively.
The act of living in truth always. While it’s important to remain truthful to others and ourselves, we shouldn’t speak the truth if it will hurt another person. You will, as a result, receive trust and respect.
This Yama is based on non-stealing and not taking what isn’t given to us. Having this mindset will help you overcome Lobha (greed).
Helping overcome excess. We should be breaking the bonds that cause us to have addictions or obsessions and become wiser in our decisions. Instead, we should have the motivation to achieve a sense of balance in our lives.
This Yama urges us to let go of what we don’t need in our lives. In most cases, we possess too much, rather than what is completely necessary. As a result, it’s very easy to become greedy and lose the ability to deem what’s most important.
Life can be stressful – everyone feels overwhelmed at some stage. The yoga way of life teaches individuals to let go of their stresses and live in the present moment. Simply forget about what lies ahead and what has gone before. You can do this through mindfulness.
Be aware of your body and your thought processes by carrying out the correct breathing techniques. It’s important to think of your worries during mindfulness in order to make sense of them. Instead, set them free, rather than lodging them in mind for the rest of the day.
You can do this while on the yoga mat at classes, but you can also maintain this activity at home.
Some yogis choose to carry out meditation as a form of mindfulness. You don’t think or contemplate your thoughts as such, but feel a sense of harmony with an object or activity.
In most cases, meditation comes at the very end of yoga practice after a series of pranayama. Due to this, the body is already still and calm for meditation through the act of tactical breathing.
Improving posture by staying off gadgets
In the generation we now live in, being hunched over a screen is the norm. Practicing yoga allows you to realign the spine and reduce any pain in the neck and back.
Pain not only impacts our physical state but also our mental frame of mind. If you want to improve your posture and reduce physical pain, stay off gadgets for as long as you can. Instead, practice a couple of minutes of yoga each day to improve your stance.
Personalize your space
Being able to meditate and think positive thoughts doesn’t always come easy. Your environment can play a big part in that. To help you achieve the yoga lifestyle, you should aim to change up your space by making it feel personalized to you.
Adding a few natural plants into your home brings the outdoors in and helps achieve that sense of calm. Not only do plants look attractive for your decor, but have also been known to provide several health benefits.
Love your imperfection
Loving yourself is one of the key aspects of the yoga lifestyle. When our health starts to deteriorate, we tend to reject taking care of ourselves. However, this should be avoided.
It’s important you start treating yourself with the love and care you deserve.
Don’t compare yourself to others and instead, see yourself as a valid individual.
Being beautiful is not just about your physical appearance, but how you feel and what you give out to others. Absolutely no one is the definition of perfection, so don’t put that pressure on yourself – it’s unrealistic!
Read yoga books
If you’re not too clued up on the yoga lifestyle, you can find out more from the experts. There are several yoga lifestyle books on the market you can read to help change parts of your life that need improvement. Here are just some of the titles below:
- The Yoga Mind: 52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen Your Practice by Rina Jakubowicz.
- Living the Sutras: A Guide to Yoga Wisdom Beyond the Mat by Kelly DiNardo and Amy Pearce-Hayden
- Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic: 4th Edition by Darren Main
Yoga lifestyle is more than just physical movement, it’s about inviting a sense of calm into your life to allow you to leave happier and healthier. Whether it be in your thoughts, actions towards others or the food you eat, a yoga lifestyle is designed to bring out the best in you and help you live life to the fullest!
Are you going to try out any of the above points to help live your yoga lifestyle?
Let us know in the comments below!